Anyone with any real knowledge regarding witchcraft know that the primary reason that witches are feared is due to the plethora of misinformation that has circulated for centuries.
However, there are some very specific skills that witches are rumored to possess which terrify the devoutly religious and superstitious alike.
It is these qualities that continue to cast a shadow of fear and persecution over witches today. They, like all negative and libelous aspects regarding a single group of people, can be hard to stamp out.
The single biggest ‘witch ability’ that people fear is the supposed ability of witches to take control of a person against their will. Supposedly, witches do this in an attempt to undermine a person’s ability to control their own actions.
As we often see in news reports, people who often have no connection to Magick are persecuted in places such as the less developed countries in Africa for these reasons. Sometimes, even an accusation is all it takes for a person to be targeted, which produces the double injustice of the person not being a witch, and witches themselves not having the negative aspects that are so feared.
Another specifically feared skill that witches are believed to possess is the power of necromancy, or the ability to conjure the spirits of the dead.
This belief dates back to at least Biblical times, when it was supposedly performed by the biblical Witch of Endor. Necromancy is actually among the witchcraft practices that we specifically know are forbidden amongst Magickal practitioners. It is not a realistic pursuit for anyone initiated in the Craft, yet this damaging legend often rears its head.
Perhaps the most obvious trait that distinguishes witches from non-magical people is their ability to cast Spells. The vast majority of Spells are cast for everyday purposes.
However, despite a Spell’s benevolent intent, many people believe that the simple act of a witch attempting to alter the universe around her (or him) is enough of an offense in and of itself.
This may be especially the case for those with fundamental or highly conservative Christian beliefs. These beliefs are something that Witches have always had to negotiate with. There is room enough in the world for differing opinions so long as respect exists.
There are many other practices that are associated with witchcraft (some correctly and others erroneously) which make those who are not educated in Magickal practices edgy.
These practices include meditation (although that is gaining mainstream acceptance), the manipulation of energy, the ability to see, read and cleanse auras, communication with spirits, and the use of divining tools.
In addition, many people believe that witches are devil worshippers. However, this is a truly false and highly detrimental belief. The fact of the matter is that witches do not worship or even believe in the devil, and most sects of practicing witches believe that anything that they do will come back on them threefold. The law of the Wiccan Rede itself is there to prevent wrongdoing.
The threefold law is a very good deterrent from carrying out offensive Magick, as it can have devastating consequences for fledgling and experienced witches alike.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of reasons that people list for fearing witches and magical practitioners have absolutely no basis in fact.
The ones that may have been factual to begin with are generally grossly exaggerated or so blown out of proportion that they retain virtually no semblance of their true nature. Often, a very human emotion like jealousy or bitterness is behind the accusations.
For this reason, it is important that people keep an open mind when it comes to magical practitioners and witches and at the very least separate truth from myth before passing judgment.
Many point of that the law of threefold return bears a striking resemblance to the concept of Karma, and you get what you put in whether you are a witch or not.
Have you ever experienced someone attacking Magick users without justification? Do you feel that you’ve ever been threatened do to your own interest in these topics?
These are important issues, so feel free to continue the conversation on our Facebook Page, where we will look further into this ongoing challenge to the Magick-using community.